It took the casting vote of mayor Kieran Bourke to bring almost ten hours of debate to an end and finally approve the Draft Carrick on Suir Development Plan, following a meeting that was at times heated, last Tuesday.
The debate lasted over two workshops, was raised at the July Council meeting, where no decision was reached, so councillors met again on Tuesday, July 16, to reach a decision about the use of land at the retail park in Tinvane.
The vote was taken on the proposal that the proposed land use in the Draft Carrick on Suir Town Development Plan 2013 be amended to allow supermarkets (not exceeding 2,500 square metres) be considered on land zoned light industrial in the Tinvane Retail Park.
It was also proposed to include: â€œThe Council notes there are currently vacant units at the Retail Park at Tinvane which have permission for retail warehousing and or comparison retail uses. The Council will support objectives for the sustainable development of this site. Any proposal to further amend the range of permissible retail uses, for example to convenience uses, will be subject to assessment against the provisions of the Retail Planning Guidelines 2012.â€
This wording was proposed by Cllr. Sylvia Cooney Sheehan, seconded by Cllr. Richie Oâ€™Neill and supported by Mayor Cllr. Kieran Bourke and Cllr. Margaret Croke. Cllrs. Patsy Fitzgerald, Pierce Oâ€™Loughlin, Sarah Dunne and Liam Walsh voted against.
With Cllr. Martin Henzey absent this left the vote tied at four all - the Mayorâ€™s casting vote decided the issue. Jim Oâ€™Mahony, of the County Council Planning Department, said the County Councilâ€™s proposal was to change the zoning of the Tinvane park from â€˜light industrialâ€™ to â€˜site specific commercial zoning which would be suitable for the development of a medium convenience retail store.â€™ Following the vote he said he was perplexed and expressed the view that the new proposal will be challenged, saying that you can only put shops in places zoned for shopping.
The new Draft Carrick on Suir Town Development Plan will now be advertised and go on public display. Mr. Oâ€™Mahony said it will also be sent to the Department and he hopes to be able to come back to the monthly meeting of the Council in September or October.